Developing connections on campus
For Yasmine Porter, Indiana University Northwest wasn’t originally in the cards. She planned to attend IU Bloomington but, after a chat with her mother, she decided staying local for year one would be best.
“I realized I really enjoyed this campus,” Porter said. “The smaller classes allowed me to make a lot of connections and be very involved.”
One year turned into several and the IU Northwest community is overjoyed to have her. During her time at IU Northwest, Porter worked several on-campus jobs and volunteered at local organizations. As her final semester draws to a close, the psychology, pre-physical therapy graduate is grateful for all the connections she made.
“My jobs at IUN have allowed me many opportunities for relationships socially, which enhanced my experience,” Porter said. “I think these experiences really allowed an enhancement of my education.”
Her first campus job began in fall 2020. She worked with University Information Technology Services (UITS), honing her web development skills and meeting with faculty from across campus. After that, Porter took a position as a tutor in the STEM Center.
“I’ve been able to help many students with multiple topics, which reinforced my knowledge in many subjects,” Porter said. She also had the chance to work as a teaching assistant, a role in which she explored the many ways students learn material.
Porter loved getting involved on campus, so when the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, it hit particularly hard.
“I was cut off from the connections I was able to make early on,” she said. “Coming back, everyone was distanced and no one wanted to socialize.” But thanks to her position with UITS, Porter was able to continue building relationships within the campus community. In her spare time, she also volunteered with the local foodbank.
Building bridges is a big deal for Porter, and her favorite part of IU Northwest is the way the campus stays connected with the community. She said developing relationships with students and employees kept her feeling supported.
“It really is impossible to not feel supported at IUN,” she said. “As long as you make an effort, you will have so many others supporting your journey, even if you face struggles.”
After graduating, Porter plans to keep making connections and serving her community. She aspires to work in a physical therapy clinic and eventually apply to graduate programs in the field.
“A huge reason I have been motivated to become a physical therapist is its healing potential,” she said. “I think everyone should be able to live a happy, mobile and pain-free life, without the overprescribing of medications or invasiveness that may come from surgeries.”
For Porter, life is all about connecting with others and making a positive impact, whether that’s through being a teaching assistant for a difficult class or helping faculty navigate tech problems. As a physical therapist, Porter is sure to grow her network of connections and expand her impact wherever she goes.